19 February 2021 By Julian Osamoto
Save the Children International SCI, says 1 in 6 children living in conflict zones are at risk of sexual violence by armed groups
A statement from the organization explains that the Ground-breaking methodology shows that ” A staggering 72 million children representing 17% are living near armed groups that perpetrate sexual violence against them, between 1990-2019 which shows that children are ten times more at risk now than three decades ago with 8.5 million in 1990″.
The statement notes that the countries where children face the greatest risk of sexual violence in conflict are Colombia, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
which includes the risk of rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilisation, forced abortion, sexual mutilation, sexual abuse, and sexual torture at the hands of armed groups, government forces and law enforcement.
It also explains that Sexual violence is underreported at the best of times, but even more in conflicts areas—especially among children.
“On average, only two cases of sexual violence against children living in conflict areas were reported every day in 2019, but we know that rape and other forms of abuse have been increasingly used against children in conflict which is why these two cases a day only represent the tip of the iceberg”.
According to the statement, there are many more child victims of sexual violence that are not reported, but also urgently needed support.
Save the Children calls on world leaders, security experts, donors, members of the UN, and NGOs to:
• Put children at the centre of any international action against sexual violence in conflict, which includes boosting services and programmes that acknowledge and meet their special needs;
• End the impunity of sexual violence against children by strengthening laws and enforcing them, while holding perpetrators to account;
• Strengthen and better coordinate the collection of data on sexual violence against children in conflict.
The statement further calls for increased funding to ensure these demands are met.
The report shows that the data gathered covers the period of 30 years, from 1990 to 2019.